A Sikh man based in the US has alleged that the chief of the Pakistan-sponsored Khalistani extremist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), Gurpatwant Singh Pannun extorted $15,000 from a Dalit youth from Punjab.
The US-based SFJ has been running a secessionist campaign seeking to “liberate” Indian Punjab from “occupation”. The group is headed by Pannun, a law graduate from Punjab University and an attorney at law in the US. The Indian government banned the group last year.
In a video shared on social media, Surjit Singh of California has alleged that Pannun cheated him of $15,000 which he had paid to him in an immigration case of a Dalit youth last year.
Surjit Singh is heard saying in the video that he gave Pannun $15,000 for getting the US residency status for a Punjabi youth of the Valmiki community (Dalit). However, after Pannun received the money, he did not fulfill his commitment and did not deliver what he had promised. Surjit is also heard saying in the video that whatever Pannun has been doing, he does it only for money.
The video is a recorded phone call between Surjit and a representative of a media channel. Surjit asked the media channel if they were doing a programme on Pannun. The mediaperson informed Surjit that they indeed have aired a show on Pannun and were following up with another program on Pannun’s men.
Surjit during the conversation said, “Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is a fraudster. Last year, a boy (from Valmiki community) from our village came to Georgia in the US with the help of an agent and was imprisoned. Someone told me to contact Pannun, claiming that he had a good hold in immigration. So we contacted Pannun’s law firm. Pannun demanded $7,500 in advance for the release of the youth. However, Pannun did not attend the court hearing in Georgia.”
Narrating his ordeal, Surjit said he called Pannun again but he demanded another $7,500 for the case. “We don’t know when the case started and when it ended. Pannun took $15,000 from us but the case was not resolved. Pannun is collecting money by fooling people and later he does not even receive their phone calls,” Surjit said. The Dalit youth was sent back to Punjab in December last year.
Describing Pannun as a “very deceitful man” Surjit said that he never turned up after he receiving the money. “Now he is playing with the religious sentiments of the people of Punjab. He is asking innocent youth of Punjab to hoist the Khalistan flag and is offering them money in return but he is not sending money to anyone.”